SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(As energy costs rise and people continue seeking greater home comfort, plus a more eco-smart lifestyle, many Californians are looking to upgrade their current residence. For some die-hard do-it-yourselfers, that means lots of independent research, replacing appliances and light bulbs, or perhaps weather-stripping doors. For others, it could mean hiring a workman to install a new HVAC unit.)--
Measured Home Performance Upgrades Are the Answer
Yet, the reality is, to enjoy long-term energy savings and other benefits, most consumers will need what is called a full Measure Home Performance upgrade by a certified Home Performance Contractor (HPC)—one that takes a whole-house rather than one-off task-by-task approach.
The good news is that interested homeowners have a wealth of resources available to help them make a smart decision, and could qualify for incentives from their local utility.
Great Resources at measuredhomeperfomance.com
A free downloadable brochure developed by the California Energy Commission (CEC) and Gas Technology Institute, A Consumer Guide to Measured Home Performance Energy Upgrades, provides a perfect starting point for homeowners wondering whether a Home Energy Performance Upgrade™ is right for them. Available at www.measuredhomeperformance.com, it runs the gamut, using clear, easy-to-understand language to define what differentiates these upgrades from a standard contracting project, explain how one is conducted, offer tips for doing a cost-benefit analysis and choosing a contractor, and showing where to go for incentives.
Should homeowners choose to drill into the details of the process itself, the site also offers a comprehensive best practices guide developed by Chitwood Energy Management under subcontract to the Gas Technology Institute (GTI), along with an eighteen-part companion video series.
A Holistic, Whole-House Approach
Far from a simple home improvement project, Measure Home Performance upgrades take a scientific, integrated, whole-house approach, and involve close collaboration between the homeowner and contractor. They start by measuring total energy consumption, calculate potential savings based on heating and electric bills, then deliver big improvements by adjusting and/or replacing home appliances, switching out lights, and providing a more efficient sealing of the home.
Big Decision, Big Pay-Off
In this new, more eco-conscious era of home ownership, the return on investment can be big for consumers considering Measured Home Performance upgrades. On the cost/consumption side of the equation, a skilled Home Performance Contractor can reasonably propose helping to cut energy consumption 10 to 20 percent. In fact, many believe improvements of 50 to 60 percent will soon be possible.
But that’s not all. Along with a more comfortable home environment, other benefits include increased HVAC safety, better health through improved indoor air quality, higher home resale value and, of course, the satisfaction of wearing a “bright green halo.”
Homeowners considering a Measured Home Performance upgrade should download the free brochure at www.measuredhomeperformance.com, and visit energyupgradeca.org for information on incentives for their particular utility.
About the California Energy Commission (CEC)
The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. Created by the Legislature in 1974 and located in Sacramento, six basic responsibilities guide the Energy Commission as it sets state energy policy: forecasting future energy needs; licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger; promoting energy efficiency and conservation by setting the state's appliance and building efficiency standards; supporting public interest energy research that advances energy science and technology through research, development, and demonstration programs; developing renewable energy resources and alternative renewable energy technologies for buildings, industry and transportation; planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies.
About Gas Technology Institute (GTI)
GTI is a leading research, development and training organization that has been addressing the nation's energy and environmental challenges by developing technology-based solutions for consumers, industry, and government for more than 70 years. GTI and partners work across the end use technology product development and commercialization spectrum—from ideation to mass-market commercialization. This span of activities uniquely positions GTI to deliver high-impact program solutions, leveraging our experience, relationships, and capabilities.